SAN CLEMENTE (CBSLA.com) — A retired pilot and an aviation safety consultant offered his theories as to what may have happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Capt. Ross Aimer, who has been a pilot for 50 years, spent five years in the cockpit of a Boeing 777, the same type of aircraft that disappeared last week on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
“Perhaps a hijacking [happened], perhaps pilots doing it themselves. You know, you never know,” he said.
According to Aimer, reports of the plane’s data stream transmitted four hours after the last known transponder reading says a lot.
“If the airplane engines were running, obviously it didn’t crash. It may have gone somewhere else,” he said.
CBS2’s Art Barron visited Flightdeck, a flight simulation center in Anaheim.
“If we don’t touch any switch in the panel right now, the autopilot has been programmed to fly the duration of the route,” said Angelo Cosma, a lead flight instructor. “So if we had four more hours of flying time, and I didn’t touch a button or nobody came in the cockpit, it would progress through those four hours.”
Barron reported the engine data on many Boeing 777s is transmitted to the maker of the engines, Rolls-Royce.
There are conflicting reports on whether the engines of the Malaysia Airlines jet continued sending the data. Speculation varies as into why it disappeared, such as a sudden catastrophic event or hypoxia.
“Something serious happened to the aircraft. Whether it be mechanical, pilot operation…but something not planned happened real fast,” Cosma said.
U.S. officials are actively pursuing the engine data, which is why investigators are interested in combing the Indian Ocean.